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Huawei P30 vs P30 Pro in 2021: Should You Save Some Bucks?

author Luis Silva (March 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

You'll spend more on the P30 Pro, but it also has better specs.

You'll get better cameras and water-resistance.

What else sets them apart?

With the P30 Pro, you'll also get a larger (+0.3") display, optical image stabilization, a telephoto lens (+45 mm), faster-charging speeds (40w vs. 22w), wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. But the P30 will give you a lightweight body (27 g./0.95 oz less) and a headphone jack.

How much more are you willing to spend on the P30 Pro?

If you're not considering going for a carrier subscription, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $280.

Is it still worth buying the P30 in 2021?

The P30 is a good value for the money in 2021, but I can't recommend it. You shouldn't get a phone that isn't going to receive security updates. Check out the OnePlus 8, for example, as it will give you better performance, more security updates, faster charging, and more RAM.

Is it worth getting the P30 Pro in 2021?

I would say don't buy the P30 Pro in 2021. Sure it has a good cameras, good battery life, optical zoom, and fast charging. But if you want more security updates, more RAM, and better display, you can get it. Just check other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 too.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they stack up against their rivals, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Huawei released both smartphones at the same time: in March 2019.

In this article, we see how the P30 and the P30 Pro compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.

Do consider avoiding the P30, as it isn't getting any security updates.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device P30 P30 Pro
Release Date 2019, March 2019, March 0y.
OS Updates 2 years 2 years 0y.
Security Updates 2 years 2 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

You won't find a winner here, as both share the same Geekbench 5 score. Basically, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

It's safe to say that both of them can be tagged as lower high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features P30 P30 Pro
SoC Hisilicon Kirin 980 Hisilicon Kirin 980
Graphics Mali-G76 MP10 Mali-G76 MP10
Geekbench 5 Score 2406
2378
-28
OS Android 9 (Pie) and EMUI 10 Android 9 (Pie) and EMUI 10
Tek-Score
6.0
6.0
0.0

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P30 front transparent png Huawei P30 Pro front transparent png

They ended up with identical scores, so you have to decide for yourself.

If you're leaning towards the P30, 85% of its rivals can play HDR content, 92% have an AMOLED screen, and 77% have an Always-On display. At the same time, only 19% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Regarding the P30 Pro, I should say that 88% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 92% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features P30 P30 Pro
Size 6.1
6.4
0.3
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1080x2340
0
Refresh Rate 60hz 60hz 0
Dots per Inch 422.49
402.69
-19.80
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Teardrop Teardrop
Peak Brightness 635 nits
605 nits
-30
HDR HDR10 HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
8.1
7.9
-0.2
Protection - -
Tek-Score
2.9
2.8
-0.1

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P30 back transparent png Huawei P30 Pro back transparent png

Overall, I'm sure the Huawei P30 Pro has a better camera.

About the P30: I would've loved it if DXOMARK reviewed this camera, but we can place it at around 97* points. Then, if you consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, it can go up to 110** points.

PS: you should know that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

What this picture-taking powerhouse is known for in the tech world is it's 50x hybrid zoom. While not being as good as a genuine 50x optical lens, thanks to AI, it is much better than the traditional digital zoom.

About the P30 Pro: DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 122. Plus, combining with the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, this score goes up to 137** points. You can click here to check it out.

Last (but not least), if you must know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Additionally, only 24% of them feature a macro lens.

If you're not a numbers person, we can tag the P30 more as an upper mid-range and the P30 Pro as high-end.

Additionally, the P30 Pro zoom lens is 64mm above what you'll commonly find on related-priced phones.

*DXOMARK knows how to test these shooters out. Too bad some cameras don't have a chance to be tested. So whenever I come across one such camera, I consider every camera spec and give an approximated score. You should give it a borderline margin of error of 2 points.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, particularly on mid-end cameras with less than 40MP and no zoom lens. They just revised their formula, and there aren't enough reviewed cameras to extrapolate a backward-compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P30 P30 Pro
Megapixels 40
40
0
Aperture 1.8
1.6
-0.2
Lens 27mm
27mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 2 2 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS No Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 110
137
27

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) P30 P30 Pro vs.
Megapixels 8
8
0
Aperture 2.4
3.4
1.0
Lens 80mm (3x zoom)
125mm (5x zoom)
45
Lens Type Telephoto lens Telephoto lens
Megapixels 16 20 4
Aperture 2.2 2.2 0.0
Lens 17mm 16mm -1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Score 13 15 2
Selfie Camera P30 P30 Pro vs.
Megapixels 32
32
0
Aperture 2.0
2.0
0.0
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
P30 P30 Pro vs.
Tek-Score
6.5
8.1
1.6

Who has the best frame?

The P30 Pro does stand out because of its water resistance.

The P30 Pro is 27 g. (1.06 oz) heavier than its sibling, which sits at 165 g. (5.82 oz). If you're curious, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The P30 got a score of 6.7, which means a pretty nice weight for a 6.1 inches screen. Having said that, the P30 Pro has 4.5, so nothing to state here.

The P30 Pro truly is water-resistant. It can be submerged 1 to 3 meters deep. Remember that it shouldn't be for over half an hour, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body P30 P30 Pro
Size 149 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.26 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
158 x 73 x 8 mm
(5.57 x 2.58 x 0.28 in)
18219
Weight 165 g. (5.82 oz)
192 g. (6.77 oz)
27
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Aurora, Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise, Black, and Pearl White Aurora, Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise, Misty Lavender, Pearl White, Black, and Mystic Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 86.34%
87.17%
0.83
Disp.Size To Weight Score 6.7 4.5 -2.2
Looks 9.8/10
10.0/10
0.2
Waterproof - IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
3.5
7.5
4.0

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The P30 does have a smaller battery, with 3650 mAh, while the P30 Pro has 4200 mAh. But as claimed by GSMArena, there's no real difference between them.

You should know that the P30 Pro also does overcome pretty much every phone out there. Just check out our best-of listing.

Quick charging is reasonably speedy with the P30 Pro's charger. Other devices from this price range usually sit at nearly 30w.

Battery*
vs.
Features P30 P30 Pro
Capacity (mAh) 3650 4200 550
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
84% left
1
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 69% left
70% left
1
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 71% left
74% left
3
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.1 5.3 -1.8
Sub Tek-Score
7.4
7.6
0.2
Fast Charging 22w
40w
18
Wireless Charging No 15w
15
Reverse Charging No 2.5w
2.5
Tek-Score
6.4
7.6
1.1

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

None of them has.

Storage*
vs.
Features P30 P30 Pro
RAM (GB) 6GB
6GB
0
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD Nano Memory (shared SIM slot) Nano Memory (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
7.5
7.5
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The P30 is your better option, as it features a headphone jack.

Both have a single network variant: LTE. If you really want to give 5G a try, you should also check the Oppo Find X3 Lite.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P30 P30 Pro
Network LTE LTE
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No
Tek-Score
8.5
3.6
-4.9

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money P30 P30 Pro VS
Amazon 1.19 1.09 -0.10
eBay 1.48 - -
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. But first, let's see where its rivals are. The P30 class is at 6.3, and the P30 Pro 6.9.

Verdict: What Makes the Huawei P30 Pro Stand Out?

Is the P30 camera enough for a photography enthusiast? Well, that's the $200 question that you may be facing. That's what you save if you can live with 3x of optical zoom (which is most that the average phone will give you).

Don't get me wrong, the P30 also has a hybrid combination that can give you a zoom of up 30x, but it really isn't the same.

Because this isn't a camera battle only, you'll also get a bigger screen with the P30 Pro and amazingly fast charging, and fast wireless charging, but that's about it.

One thing that shocked me was the lack of a Gorilla Glass protection on their full-glass body. That's just too dangerous to live with.

Pros P30 P30 Pro
#1 Performance AMOLED
#2 AMOLED Always-On-Display
#3 Always-On-Display Cameras
#4 Cameras Battery Life
#5 Battery Life Fast Charging
#6 Fast Charging Wireless Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot MicroSD Slot
#8 3.5mm Jack
Cons P30 P30 Pro
#1 Wireless Charging Weight
#2 Glass Protection 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price
#4 Glass Protection
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P30 P30 Pro
Gaming Score
6.1
6.2
0.1
Tek-Score
5.93
6.42
0.49
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Huawei P30 Related Comparisons


Huawei P30 Pro Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Huawei P30 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $328
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
    $338
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $385
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $359
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $409
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $379
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T
    $349
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $399
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • OnePlusrivalNord
    $410
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE
    $349
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
    $349
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $415
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $396
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Lite
    $325
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
    $380
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • OnePlusrival9
    $469
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro
    $385

 Huawei P30 Pro 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $700
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $574
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $564
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $500
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $596
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $566
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $566
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $515
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $579
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $548
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $511
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $682
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $658
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $561
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $503
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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